In a significant development in the Tibetan Buddhist circles, the Nyingma sect has identified a boy from Spiti in Himachal Pradesh as the reincarnation of the late Taklung Setrung Rinpoche, a scholar known for his knowledge of Tibetan Tantric school.
Sources from Spiti said the boy of Tibetan origin would be formally inducted into the religious life on November 28.
“The Nyingma sect is the oldest of all Buddhist sects, and Taklung Setrung Rinpoche was a profound scholar renowned for his expertise in Tibetan Tantric school. In some issues, he was even consulted by the Dalai Lama. The incarnation is, therefore, an important development as this is the continuation of an important teacher,” P. Stobdan, a strategic affairs commentator from Ladakh, said.
He said the “discovery” coming from Spiti with its cultural connection with Tibet was indicative of the contest over iconic Buddhist figures in the Himalayan ranges. Usually, the process took a long period and would even involve contests, but in this particular case, the reincarnation was identified without any controversy, he added.
The Rinpoche used to live in the Takthok monastery of Ladakh, one of the oldest monasteries related to the Nyingma sect. The followers of the sect are spread across Tibet, Bhutan, Ladakh, Sikkim and other Himalayan Buddhist pockets. The Rinpoche was widely consulted by the followers of the faith.
The “reincarnation” of a prominent Rinpoche is important in the contest for supremacy over Buddhist affairs. The veteran monks of various schools of Tibetan Buddhism, including the Dalai Lama, spread in many of the ancient monasteries in the Himalayas command a wide following across the Buddhist community in Tibet, India and other parts of the world. In view of their regional and global influence, there is a nascent race to gain control over the monasteries and the process of reincarnation that has to be determined following the physical demise of a revered monk.